JIS News

The HEART Trust/NTA has collaborated with the Justice Training Institute (JTI) to offer training programmes for the justice sector.
At the institute’s academy in Stony Hill, as well as its satellite facilities at Twickenham Park, St. Catherine and at Queen’s High School in Kingston, persons are being equipped to take on jobs as process servers, legal secretaries and legal assistants.
Director of Training and Academic Affairs at the JTI, Edward Shakes, explained that the collaboration started a year ago, with HEART offering levels one and two competencies in the course areas.
The JTI provides overall supervision throughout the duration of the six-month training programme.Meanwhile, Mr. Shakes told JIS News that the JTI was working with the National Council for Technical Vocational Education and Training (NCTVET) to develop standards for its court-reporting programme with the intention, over time, to develop a national qualification for court reporters.
“The NCTVET is providing some technical support in the form of developing standards for the court reporters programme. That is non-monetary assistance and we would then have access to the curriculum and their standards that is applicable to Jamaica,” he informed.
The arrangement is for two years and according to Mr. Shakes, it was expected that by the end of two year, which is this year, the institution would have some standards in place.
In addition, he explained that the JTI has also received a $6 million grant from the HEART Trust to train 30 court reporters over a two-year period. This allocation will go towards defraying some of the cost of training material, instructor fees and utilities.
He said that the funds received have been “tremendously beneficial”. He noted that the court reporting programme “is a expensive programme and the funds provided by HEART has been very beneficial where we have been able to use some of the funds for the purchase of training materials from overseas, assist with the maintenance and care of our transcription machine and as payment to our part-time lecturers.”
Mr. Shakes told JIS News that so far, the public has been very responsive to the training offered by HEART. He said that the programmes were being advertised in the newspapers and more trainees would be recruited as soon as the current training period ended.
For these lower level programmes, the entry qualification is three Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) passes, and in some instances, persons with a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) level 1, may access the legal secretary programme and the legal assistant programme.
“We bear in mind that the JTI programmes’ general entry requirements .is a minimum of four CXCs. Obviously, if someone has completed this programme with three CXCs, then that would certainly be considered,” he said.